For the week ending 27 February 2010 / 12 Adar I 5770

To Claim or Not to Claim

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
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Question: I asked a colleague to take a large sum of money to my bank safety deposit box and he was careless enough to have it stolen while he chatted with a friend. He insists that I make a claim to my insurance company instead of demanding payment from him. What is the right thing to do?

Answer: In the second volume of "Pure Money" Dayan Shlomo Cohen, a member of a rabbinical court in Jerusalem, writes that you are not obligated to make a claim to the insurance company because of your colleague's negligence. Insurance companies, he points out, are not charitable organizations, but businesses whose payments come from their shareholders' pockets. Add to this the penalty you may incur for the loss of your no-claims bonus and it all adds up to placing the responsibility entirely on your colleague.

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